An airline is trialling new edible coffee cups to reduce waste on flights.
Air New Zealand has started rolling out vanilla-flavoured edible cups, which can hold hot drinks without disintegrating, across its network.
The Kiwi flag carrier, recently named the best in the world by a new ranking, teamed up with New Zealand family business twiice, which creates plant-based cups, for the innovative scheme.
Having already swapped non-sustainable for biodegradable cups, the airline wanted to go a step further towards making the 8 million cups of coffee it serves onboard annually as eco-friendly as possible.
“We have been working in partnership with innovative New Zealand company twiice to explore the future of edible coffee cups, which are vanilla flavoured and leakproof,” said Air New Zealand senior manager of customer experience Niki Chave.
“The cups have been a big hit with the customers who have used these and we have also been using the cups as dessert bowls.”
If the pilot goes well, plans could be afoot to extend the project into edible plates and dishes, which twiice is currently working towards producing.
Twiice co-founder Jamie Cashmore said: “It is terrific that Air New Zealand has partnered with us to showcase to its customers and the world that a little bit of Kiwi ingenuity and innovation could have a really positive impact on the environment while at the same time delivering really cool and tasty customer experience.”
It’s the latest in a series of pledges by airlines to become “greener”.
Around £25m per year will be invested in “forestry, renewable and community-based projects”, the equivalent of around 25p per passenger.
The carrier’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said: “We acknowledge that offsetting is only an interim measure until other technologies become available to radically reduce the carbon emissions of flying, but we want to take action on carbon now.
“People have a choice in how they travel and people are now thinking about the potential carbon impact of different types of transport. But many people still want to fly and if people choose to fly we want to be one of the best choices they can make.”